After a 4K VR headset, revolutionary in its time in terms of resolution, Pimax has developed a complete range of VR headset around the same frame. Find out which one is the best for you !
Guide to the different Pimax headsets
Entry level Pimax, the Artisan headset has the flagship features of the brand: a consequent FOV (140°), doubled with a high resolution (1700x1440px per eye). The whole works at 120Hz, which is an already high-end display frequency (equivalent to the Valve Index).
This is the headset that allows you to set foot in the world of high-end VR helmets. Its FOV is lower than the other headphones in the range. But in practice, the full FOV is very rarely used, especially because it is very graphic resource intensive.
From the 2017 Kickstarter campaign, the 5k+ is a 200° FOV headset with a resolution of 2560x1440px per eye. It’s a win on all fronts compared to the Artisan, but as mentioned above, the extra field of view is rarely used because it consumes a lot of graphic resources.
The refresh rate goes up to 144Hz. This is huge, but here again, it is currently very difficult to achieve such a refresh rate.
This headset will quickly replace the 5K+. The frame benefits from a soft touch coating, as well as the Modular Audio Strap (which therefore integrates headphones). The refresh rate goes up to 180Hz. Needless to say that they will never be reached in Sim Racing…
Released long after the Kickstarter campaign, the 8K+ receives the same image as the 5K (2560x1440px per eye), then upscaled to 3840×2160. It’s a great headset. We don’t detect the grid effect (SDE), still very slightly present on the other headsets. The upscaler allows to smooth the image slightly. Simply put, the image is not sharper, but it is less pixelated.
The refresh rate is currently 90Hz, this is the only downside.
How to choose between 8k+ and 5k? Obviously the price will be decisive, but you should also see the 8k+ as a headset that will benefit more from more muscular configurations.
And we arrive on the top of the top, the Pimax 8KX. 3840x2160px per eye. We finally surpass the graphic quality that can be found on triple screens, or 4K screens.
Obviously, it is necessary a hyper muscular configuration to hope to benefit from this headset (a Nvidia 3080 is a great minimum). Unless!
Unless you use one of the Pimax solutions to gain FPS! The most “basic” solution is the use of FFR (Fixed Foveated Rendering), which decreases the screen resolution on the sides. This is barely noticeable, and you gain a lot in performance. To give you an idea: with my 2080ti, I take ACC in Epic (except the antialiasing at the top) at 60fps. Pimax was the first to develop this type of solution.
We can go further with the Eye Tracking Module, which is a module that allows to reduce the display resolution where the eye does not look. The performance gain is hardly comparable with the FFR. It’s particularly promising, but I wouldn’t recommend its purchase for the moment.
Finally, here is a comparative table of the characteristics of Pimax headsets compared to other manufacturers:
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